Cindy McCain praised Kyl's selection, saying he was a friend of her family.
Republican Jon Kyl cited his sense of duty in accepting the appointment but said he's only committing to serve until the end of the congressional session next January 3. He is, however, a well-liked, experienced lawmaker praised both by supporters of McCain and President Trump.
Kyl, a Republican, is now shepherding Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. "I consider it a great privilege to have served with John and I will miss him as a friend and as a strong force for America in the world", Kyl said at the memorial service for McCain in Phoenix.
"I'm not going to hold my breath on Trump because I'm not going to pass out", Woods said. "Kudos to Senator Kyl for his willingness to serve once again". McCain battled brain cancer at home in Arizona, missing all the Senate business since late 2017. The Arizona GOP is sharply divided between a Trumpist majority, and a more "Flake-y" fringe.
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Kyl has acted as a "sherpa" for Kavanaugh following his nomination and has helped to orchestrate his meetings with other senators.
"Kyl tended to be more conservative than McCain throughout his tenure in the Senate", Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University in Houston, said in a telephone interview. Jon Kyl will be named as her deceased husband's replacement in the U.S. Senate. "It's challenging for me be so involved in everything that we did to honor him over the last week and then think of staying on the sidelines as we face a world without John McCain".
"He understands how the Senate functions and will make an immediate and positive impact benefiting all Arizonans".
The appointment was tweeted by McCain's widow, Cindy. They hold 51 seats with 47 Democrats and two independents who align with Democrats - unchanged from when McCain held the seat. He'll also have time to watch the Senate race to replace Jeff Flake - who won Kyl's old seat in 2012 - play out in November, with Republican Rep. Martha McSally facing Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.
Kyl served four two-year terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before he was first elected to a six-year stint in the Senate in 1994. This is why he accepted the position with the stipulation that he would not commit beyond the end of this congressional session.
His funeral service Saturday at Washington National Cathedral was in many ways a stern rebuke of Trump, with presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama eulogizing McCain as an iconic statesman who embodied passionate but civil debate, bipartisan compromise and a commitment to American values.